Being a Good Shepherd can be tough

Published 7:23 pm Saturday, September 29, 2018

By John Warren

Ministers get together and share advice, compare notes and tell war stories such as this one: “What is your worst parsonage story?”

This is mine.

The parsonage was built in 1957.   It sat high on a hill in Burleson County between the church and a cornfield.  When I moved there, I thought it peculiar that a house with central air and heat would have a gas heater in the living room and that there was a rug in the kitchen nailed to the floor.  In October, when a cold front came in, I found out why.   The house was so cold you needed the gas heater and the rug covered a little hole in the floor!

The cold was not all that came in.

Remember the cornfield and the rug covering the hole in the floor?  When the cold front hit the field mice came in under the rug.  I had one run across my chest as I lay in bed!  Humans can levitate on their own, you do not need a magician!  But when magicians do this it is much quieter, no squealing like a girl and all.

When I came back down and my heart started beating again, I got out of bed and set out traps.

I put them all around the bed.

I spent the night listening to scurry, snap, squeal, scurry, snap, squeal.

The next morning, I had killed twelve mice.

I did this for four nights.

From reading the stories from other pastors, it is amazing how some churches care or don’t care for their pastors.

We all want a good shepherd.  Being a good shepherd cannot happen if the shepherd never gets a good nights sleep.

We are studying the vows of the United Methodist Church and I am hoping that everyone is getting that the vows are not rules but guides to help us become better Christians and that our lives become more Christ-like through following them.

They were not created to support a system but to enrich our soul.

As a good shepherd of my flock, I want you to pray each day.

I am reading “Letters to the Church” by Francis Chan.

“Prayer is not merely a task of ministry; it is a gauge that exposes our heart’s condition.  It unveils our pride, showing us whether or not we believe we are powerless apart from God.  When we pray, it is an expression of surrender to God and reliance on His infinite wisdom and sovereignty.”

Pray and pray for your pastors.


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.